Buddhism as laxative
‘Only distressed, unhappy people follow the Buddha!
Happy people follow themselves’ Bodhankur
If and when I’m constipated, meaning that I feel bloated, nauseous, unwell, in a word, distressed (Pali: dukkha), I take an over the counter laxative. In other words, I purge myself. I clean myself out and start again, happy as Larry.1
2500 years ago the Shakyamuni (i.e. the Scythian recluse), who was given the epithet Buddha (i.e. the wise guy) after his death, noted that many people were psychologically distressed and that, consequently, their capacity to adapt, thrive and feel good and happy too was impaired. They couldn’t go with and adapt to the flow.2 He made a couple of common sense observation about life3 in general and how one might avoid stuffing oneself with indigestible data/food. Then, being highly ambitious,4 he collected, like any world class health care enterprise, an army of willing sales folk who profited5 by selling his purgation method.
His method initially consisted of a simple set of physical, mental and emotional withdrawal (or fasting) techniques (i.e. meditations) that served as cleansing6 means. Later he, or his followers, added a behaviour modification technique7 that was intended to avoid the painful effects of allergies and prevent addictions.
The Buddhist purgation and external regulation method,8 i.e. his dharma dressed up as a healing story serving as distress patch,9 held good for centuries. It died out completely in India round the 10th century AD. Highly politicised and philosophically abstracted, the Buddhist distress patch extended its shelf life in China, Korea and Japan, and of course amongst Tibetan shamans (i.e. Bons) who in a changing world needed a new brand name (i.e. as cover) and a philosophical upgrade in order to stay in business both at home and abroad.10
© 2018 Victor Langheld
1. All biological systems are self-regulating. If and when self-regulation, hence survival, is impaired a bio-system can either revert to a former self-regulation capacity by eliminating obstructions to self-regulation (experienced as constipation); or by accepting external regulation that bypasses/patches the obstruction. Buddhism, indeed, all religious-cum-therapeutic systems offer both paths to improved self-regulation.
2. For ‘Go with the flow’ read: self-regulate.
3. A) ‘Whatever is born dies.’ B) ‘Birth happens subject to conditions; death happens subject to conditions.’ C) Life (and all its goodies and baddies) is transient and conditional. D) Attachment to the transient results in unpleasantness. Ergo, don’t attach!’
4. Legend has it that at birth it was predicted that he would become ‘A great leader of men!’
5. In wealth and power.
6. Read: defragmentation and/or reverting to a prior (more healthy) initial state. The Anapanasati and Satipathana (mindfulness) methods are fundamentally cleansing (i.e. laxative) techniques. Their ‘hidden’ purpose is to restore unobstructed responding. In this regard see: The human Biological Navigation System. Cleansing is done by focusing on nothing, i.e. by flooding the brain with the thought of nothing, i.e. by emptying the mental data stream of negative information.
7. The Noble Eightfold Path, i.e. a psychological slimming diet that is intended to enhance social flexibility. He introduced a morality and an ethic unknown to Vedic Brahmanism and the new wave ideas of the Upanishads and Samkya Yoga. That endeared him to the local warlords always on the lookout for the latest fad useful for domesticating unruly subjects. The Noble Eightfold Path functions as external regulation.
8. His path to nirvana by means of enlightenment. At Victor’s Way in Roundwood there’s an Enlightenment Loo which you can use if the pressure is right to achieve the sensation of enlightenment. After all, enlightenment is a biological function rather than a spiritual one.
9. All religions, and there are (or were) several hundred of them, serve as healing stories, that is to say, as therapeutic fables, designed to help individuals recover wholeness. No-one knows how life emerged, how it actually works and how and why it ends. The best that can be done (for comfort, consolation and healing) is to tell a healing story (i.e. as verbal placebo) much as one would tell a comforting bed-time story to a child frightened of the dark.
See. The Healing Story
10. At the present time an army of very colourful and ever grinning, world peace and love dispensing self-declared Masters of Tibetan Buddhism are getting wealthy retailing the Buddhist purgation method via an ever growing number of dedicated sales outlets (i.e. monasteries). Tibetan Buddhism is the only significant Tibetan export product.